Neil Asher Silberman 

Rebooting Antiquity
How Holy Wars, Media Hype, and Digital Technologies Are Changing the   Face of 21st Century Archaeology

Iraqi National Museum Deputy Director Mushin Hasan holds his head in his hands as he sits on destroyed artifacts April 13, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Wednesday, September 21 • 6:15 pm.  Classroom 2, Penn Museum
3260 South Street, Philadelphia 

Co-sponsored by Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Graduate Program, University of Pennsylvania 

There’s a revolution happening today in the way we value, discover, and imagine the past. On the negative side, ancient sites by the thousands—not only in the Middle East but all over the world—are being bulldozed, looted, vandalized, or blown up or merely vandalized. Feature films, bestsellers and specialized cable documentaries hopelessly muddle archaeological fiction and fact. Yet on the positive side, advanced satellite imagery and LIDAR sensors are uncovering complex civilizations in deserts and jungles where none were assumed ever to exist. Virtual reality environments and 3d digital reconstructions are now used both for scientific documentation and immersive museum experiences. And the sheer social reach of Facebook, Twitter, and research-by-crowdsourcing is offering archaeologists unprecedented opportunities to engage the general public in their work. This illustrated lecture will highlight some recent discoveries and ongoing controversies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia that exemplify the dramatic new directions that archaeology is taking in our globalized, internet age. 

Reception to follow with opportunity to meet the speaker.
Please use the Kress Entrance on the east of the Penn Museum. 

For information call 215.898.2680 or contact 
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October 4  
Thomas Carpenter, Ohio University.  
Whose Dionysos? Pursuit of the God in 4th Century BC Apulia.  
Penn Museum, 6:15 pm

October 15 International Archaeology Day  
details TBA Penn Museum, 10:00-4:00

November 13-15 Lorenzo Nigro, University of Rome.  
Lectures on Jericho and Motya.  
Details TBA. Penn Museum

November 17  

Jack Davis and Shari Stocker, University of Cincinnati.  

From the Silent Earth: The Griffin Warrior of Pylos.  

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum. 6:00 pm reception, 6:30 
pm lecture.

March 30, 2017 Vanessa Davies, Ph. D.  

An overlooked chapter in the history of Egyptology: 

W .E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, and Pauline Hopkins. 
Penn Museum, 6:15 pm.



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At its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries CE, the Khmer Empire controlled much of what we now consider to be mainland Southeast Asia.  The heart of Angkorian civilization lay at the banks of the Tonle Sap, in a series of 9th through 14th century capitals with temples, shrines, and palaces that housed the ruling family and elites.  This lecture showcases two of the greatest architectural achievements in the Angkorian world: the 10th century temple of Banteay Srei (Fortress of Women), and Angkor Thom (the city of Angkor’s last great ruler: Jayavarman VII).  While Banteay Srei epitomizes the refinement of Angkorian aesthetics and architecture, Angkor Thom represents the apex of Angkorian monumentality.  Recent archaeological research in the Greater Angkor region is presented to contextualize these great monuments, and sheds light on the economy and daily lives of Angkorian Khmers.

Coe, Michael D. 2003. Angkor and the Khmer Civilization. Thames and Hudson, London.
Freeman, Michael and Claude Jacques. 1999.  Ancient Angkor. Bangkok, River Books.


FYI, earlier the same weekend:

The World of Phrygian Gordion

A conference accompanying the new exhibit at the Penn Museum, “The Golden Age of King Midas” 

April 1-2, 2016,

Penn Museum

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